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If you’ve ever had your heart broken, you know that it’s extremely painful. It’s a pain that many of us have experienced, often more than once, and it’s always hard. It may feel like heartbreak never gets easier no matter how many times you experience it. Grief of any kind is hard to cope with, and grieving an intimate relationship can bring up some major feelings. As you go through life, you can learn new skills and coping techniques to better support you when you have a broken heart.
People’s hearts break for all kinds of reasons. Some can be due to romantic or sexual relationships coming to an end. You can feel heartbreak over a friendship that has ended, or tense family relationships.
Whatever the reason for your broken heart, know that it won’t always feel this way.
Heartbreak feels different for everyone. Some folks have a hard time functioning in the wake of a broken heart, and may struggle to complete daily tasks. Others may deal with a broken heart by throwing themselves into something new, whether that be a hobby, a job, or even a new pet. Still others fall somewhere in between. No matter how you experience heartbreak, you deserve to feel supported and taken care of during this time.
When important relationships in our lives end, it can feel much more devastating than we expect. Losing the relationship itself is one aspect of it, but ending a relationship, especially a romantic one, can lead to lots of other losses as well. Some folks feel like they lose their identity or sense of self when a relationship ends, and they’re not sure who they are outside of the relationship. When you end a relationship, you often lose access to your ex’s social circle and family, who may be people you genuinely care about.
Breakups also lead to a major change in routine.
You will have to find a new daily routine that no longer includes them, and that can be a huge change when someone is part of your everyday life. Another aspect of breakups that can cause grief is the loss of a shared living space. If you were living together, it’s often extra traumatic to experience the loss of your relationship and your home at the same time.
Ending a relationship also means an end to any potential shared future, which can be hard to wrap your head around. Someone you were just making plans with is suddenly no longer a part of your plans, and that takes some adjusting to get used to.
Social media doesn’t make breakups any easier. It’s all too simple to check up on your ex on social media, which can make moving on and healing the hurt of the heartbreak even harder. It can be exhausting to have them in your digital circle, especially if you find yourself checking up on them often.
If you’re dealing with a broken heart right now, here are a few ways to take care of yourself:
Let yourself feel your feelings
Whatever you’re feeling, let yourself feel it. Keeping things bottled up will just lead to you feeling worse down the road. It’s okay to cry, to be sad, and to experience a range of emotions.
Feeling your feelings doesn’t mean that feelings are facts. It just means that you allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come up. It’s normal to feel like you’ll never feel happy again or feel like you’ll never find love again, but try not to let your brain convince you that that is true. Things feel hopeless right now, but they won’t always feel this way.
Reflect on what you learned
Make a list of things you learned in this relationship. Just because a relationship is over doesn’t mean it was a failure. Relationships are a powerful way we learn how to interact with other people. Having a relationship that doesn’t work out gives you more information about what you actually do want in the future.
Experiencing the end of a relationship also gives you information about how you deal in relationships. Is there anything about the end of this relationship that you want to explore? It can be eye opening to notice the ways you’re showing up in relationships that aren’t supportive.
Lean on loved ones for support
No one is meant to go it alone, especially with a broken heart. Community can make a huge difference when you’re healing from a broken heart, because you have other people you can rely on. You’ll see that there are still plenty of people out there who love you and care about you, even if you’re no longer in a relationship.
Get into a routine
One of the hardest things about a breakup is untangling your lives after the relationship is over. If you’re ending a relationship with someone you lived with, it’s going to be hard to adjust to your new routine without them.
Even if you didn’t live together, it’s likely that your partner was an integral part of your daily routines in some way, and it will take time to get used to things as they are now. Giving yourself a new routine to structure your days can help you move through things, especially those first few weeks where you’re really noticing their absence.
Go no contact (even if just for a bit)
Even if you’d like to be friends someday, you need to give your heart time to heal. It’s going to be hard to do that if you’re constantly being reminded of your ex every time you log into Instagram or see that you got a text.
Unfollow or unfriend them on all social media, and block them from yours as well. Block their phone number. It might feel extreme, but it’s really hard to move forward when you’re constantly reopening the wound of the breakup.
Give yourself a timeframe to re-evaluate after to see if no contact is still what you need or if you’d be open to more. They may not want contact or they may be hurt by your decision to go no contact, but it’s okay to look out for yourself so you can grieve the relationship.